JUST over half of the employees of Newport council quizzed in a survey think the authority doesn’t value the ideas or opinions of its staff.

Most workers think their ideas are valued by their own managers, but 51 per cent think council departments don’t work well together.

Officers at the council gathered 757 responses electronically and on paper in a survey of how engaged and satisfied employees are feeling at the authority.

A council report says officers believe the results show a mixed – but broadly positive – picture.

The authority conducts a survey of employees every two years and the council believes this run of results, taken before January 24, are representative of the 6,800-strong workforce .

Some 91 per cent of respondents said they understood the council’s corporate aims, such as the authority’s stated aspiration to improve people’s lives, according to the council report.

One in eight agreed or strongly agreed that their ideas and opinions are valued by their managers.

But 51 per cent disagreed or disagreed strongly with the statement that the authority values its employees ideas and opinions, the same figure that disagreed or strongly disagreed with a statement saying council departments work well together, although 94 per cent said their colleagues work well as a team.

Some 74 per cent felt that their good performance was recognised and 89 per cent said managers give workers enough time to do their job.

The report to cabinet says a steering group on the authority is in the process of writing up a list of actions that would aim to create a “listening culture” within the authority.

It is also proposed to establish a staff social committee that would try to create more opportunities for informal contact between employees from different parts of the council.

The findings of the survey were reported to Newport council’s cabinet yesterday, approving a proposed action plan in response.

Council chief executive Will Godfrey said comments about the council not valuing people’s ideas and opinions “need to be reflected on carefully” but said there were “positive messages”.

“We are not resting on our laurels,” he added

Labour council leader Bob Bright said staff were the council’s “most valued asset”, adding: “They are valued – their ideas are as important as are their skills.”